A brilliant 3-0 win for Manchester United against Partizan has thrown up a few questions.
Let’s dive straight in and ask what impact this performance might have on the Red Devils…
How much will this victory cost United?
For the second week in a row Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decided to take a midweek match seriously and pick a near full strength team.
Again the team selection paid off, but we saw last weekend how there could be a negative follow on impact as we lost to Bournemouth.
Scott McTominay sustained an injury in the win over Partizan and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told the club website that the Scot is a ‘concern’ and United need to see how he is.
This weekend we host Brighton, who are actually now two points ahead of us in the Premier League table. It has the potential to be a tricky game and McTominay could be a miss.
There may be other players not up to playing twice in four days or left feeling a little tired. Harry Maguire also picked up a knock.
Long term, the result of this win is positive. We have qualified for the knockout stages with two games to spare.
That allows Solskjaer more freedom to rotate the team even more, allowing for less impact on Premier League fixtures following the final two group matches.
Young players will get more chances to prove their quality and this is a positive development, allowing them to gain vital experience and stake a bigger first team claim.
Will United be bold to attack with Greenwood, Martial and Rashford in the Premier League?
This was an attacking trident we hoped we might see on the first day of the season against Chelsea. It took three months, but Greenwood, Martial and Rashford look like a deadly combination.
Together there is a lot of firepower for defences to account for and the time will soon come for Solskjaer to pick all three in the Premier League.
This weekend it may not happen. Dan James was sensibly rested for this entire game and will probably come back in on Sunday.
A bolder decision from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be to pick all three forwards again and use James as an impact substitute.
They showed against Partizan that this is a viable option. Whether it happens against Brighton we will see, but it’s only a matter of time before Solskjaer uses the combination in the Premier League.
Greenwood is ready to start games and play 90 minutes, and had a key role in United’s first and second goals.
How good could this team be with a genuine creative player?
As hard as Juan Mata tried, and he did OK, he isn’t the player United need him to be right now.
And Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard both offered nothing when they came on.
United’s need for a creative number 10 is obvious. A Bruno Fernandes, or Hakim Ziyech, or James Maddison.
Put one of those three players in behind a trio of Rashford, Martial and Greenwood and you have a seriously dangerous attack.
The trio are a handful already, but their true potential can only really be unlocked when there is a top class creative player supplying them.
- Juan Mata has played himself into chance of start against Liverpool
- Getting in Soumare and Fernandes could transform United’s season
- Wes Brown says he believes United can win at Anfield
- Three reasons Soumare should choose United over Chelsea
- United fans react to Marcos Llorente transfer rumours